Right now, this second, I just got off work.
About an hour ago, I took a bow after giving the evening program at the banquet dinner for the gorgeous, enormous Minnesota Quilt Show here in St. Cloud. The amount of work that goes into a show like this is remarkable. To all the attendees, to the women and men who help make the show every year — and who specifically helped me get here, do my thing, and scoot on out tomorrow morning — thank you. I said it all day long; now it’s in writing.
I got in late last night on a delayed flight. I taught a class from 8:30-11:30am. I learned my books didn’t arrive for the book signing. We did damage control. I did a lecture from 11:40-12:20. I did a book signing from 12:30-1:15. I did a class from 1:30-4:30. I arrived at the banquet dinner at 6:00pm. You may have noted that there wasn’t much time for lunch in my schedule, so I brought snacks. I’ve been trying to avoid excess sugar but there are no words for the joy and gratitude I had around 3:00pm for the four pieces of toffee I found in a Ziploc baggie in my purse. That toffee was the secret to my success.
Here’s what I love to do:
– teach people how to make quilts
– lecture in an entertaining manner on the history of quiltmaking in America
– meet fellow quilters
– make a living doing what I just described
But I’m going to be honest: I’m in my nightgown with a face mask on, sitting in a Lay-Z-Boy recliner in a hotel room in St. Cloud, MN with my laptop and as of now, as of this very second, I have the entire summer off. This was it. Tonight was the last one. School’s out for the summer, you guys. The last time I had more than two weeks off was January for heaven’s sake. Before that, I couldn’t tell you. But from where I’m sitting, from what I’m looking at on my Google calendar, my next gig is in September and that means I have a summer.
I’m so excited. I’m so happy. I mentioned last week how I’m going to take a Spanish class. But there’s more. I’m going to park my tushie and hand quilt my first quilt. I’m going to work on a cool art project I’ve only just started. You bet your bippy I’ll be blogging. But I’m not going to be writing PaperGirl on a plane, which happens a lot — more than I tell you. I’m going to blog in my very own Lay-Z-Boy (note to self: purchase Lay-Z-Boy) with my very own bed not far away. I might even bake more bread.
I told a ballroom full of people tonight a special piece of news that I have only shared with a few people. Well, I’ve shared it with a few close people in my life and now a ballroom full of strangers. It’s big news, friends. Seismic. Tectonic plate-shifting big. I’m not pregnant. I’m not moving to Germany. I’m not sick again. The news is a very, very good thing. It is a big thing. And I didn’t know when I’d break the news but now, sitting here in a hotel on the banks of the Mississippi River, imagining this special summer stretching out before me, I see that it’s time.
We’ll talk tomorrow.